Why Writing Journey Through Sattara Scared The Hell Out Of Me

Black Panther

Let me start off by saying that when I felt the call to start writing Journey Through Sattara I was so excited.

It felt exciting to receive sudden flashes of inspiration and to wonder where the story was going to go.

The characters hadn’t been developed yet, and I didn’t know what their motivations were, their faults were, their failures were or anything like that. I just knew that I had sudden flashes of insight that I needed to translate into words.

Chapter after chapter came together and I found myself sometimes as excited as the reader to find out what was going to happen next. It was as if the chapters were only revealed to me once I sat down to write.

As I got deeper and deeper into the story I realized that all the characters in the story were me. I realized that I was creating a world where there were injustices that needed to be resolved, feuds that needed to be ended, and internal struggles that needed to be faced and erased.

Once I realized that all the characters were me, parts of my real life story, or parts of my own soul – my stomach started to turn.

Everyday after I finished writing the book I thought to myself,

This book is bigger than me. This book is bigger than me. This book is bigger than me.

That gives you an idea of the repetitive thought pattern that was running through my mind at the time.

But it wasn’t that the book was bigger than me. It’s that the book had parts of me that I was afraid to express. There were injustices that I was afraid to address in my life that I had projected onto the characters in my book.

It’s so funny how we can’t write about something that we do not know. There’s a scene in Journey Through Sattara that hits close to home for me. When I was younger there were times when I would get beatings from my guardian for things that were so small.

I mean can you imagine spilling a glass of water and being immediately popped in the face. Or bringing home a “C” in one of your most difficult subjects and getting beat so bad that you literally were ashamed to even exist.

When I created the scene of Su’Ma returning to his village after he betrayed his family, I had to put feelings and emotions from my real life experience into the heart and soul of that character.

When I wrote that scene I was in Su’Ma’s shoes the whole time and Su’Ma’s father was the guardian that use to beat me.

So when Su’Ma’s father whipped him, I felt the pain of Su’Ma inside. I also had to be the villain. I had to transform myself into the abuser as well. I had to get inside the mind of Su’Ma’s father and become evil, ruthless, and merciless.

Trust me, it’s not an easy thing to do. Especially when you know that through your writing you are facing that monster. You are facing that character that you didn’t have the courage to confront that often in real life. So when Su’Ma had the nerve to stand up to his father that was me acknowledging the fact that I belonged in the world, and my dreams and will needed to be heard. Now don’t get me wrong, standing up for what you believe in doesn’t come without consequences.

Here is a small snippet from the book. 

Su’Ma’s father was there when Su’Ma woke up. Su’Ma was moaning underneath the cloth that covered his face.
“All the years I took care of you, watched after you, taught you, and you make a fool out of me like this,” his father said.
Su’Ma’s father’s face had lost all sympathy. He sharpened the knife he had in his hand furiously. He placed the blade on the edge of a piece of wood and sliced it to make sure it was sharp enough. His father grabbed his arms and sat Su’Ma up on his knees. His eyes scanned the healed branding in the center of his back and the one running down his spine. His father removed the cloth from Su’Ma’s bloody face, grabbed hold of his locks, and bent his head back.
“That symbol on your back is a Ya’Tu symbol? You allowed another tribe to brand you?”
Su’Ma moaned and groaned and his father gripped his hair tighter.
“Answer me,” his father said going ballistic.
“Yes,” Su’Ma said barely able to catch his breath.
Su’Ma struggled through each breath and then went silent.
“So you would deny your entire heritage, your entire lineage, the people you grew up around and who taught you all you know, for a few people that you just met?”
“Yes,” he said panting through his breaths.
“How dishonorable.”
^^Excerpt From Journey Through Sattara^^

I am going to stop right there. I just wanted you to see how intense the scene got. You must read the beginning of the book before you indulge in the rest of that scene. For you to understand and really feel the true emotion of that scene you will have to go back to the beginning of the story. You have to get a feel of who Su’Ma is, what his tribe is like, and what his reasons for denying his lineage were.

The scene is brutally honest and heartbreaking. By that scene you will have fell in love with Su’Ma and to see him go through the pain that he is going to go through is heart-wrenching.

Why The Hell Should You Care To Read What I Write?

I chose to share my novel Journey Through Sattara with the world because I believe there are lessons in the book that will not only shape the way one thinks, but will also reach into your heart and demand sympathy, love, and respect towards the world around you.

So to answer your question… why the hell should you care to read what I write – the answers are simple.

I’m no different than you. I’m someone that has a dream of becoming a writer. Someone who pours her heart and soul out into her books. Someone who wants to make sense of the world. Someone who wants to change it. Someone who envisions a better life for herself and those around her. Someone who believes that there are countless stories to be told and not everyone can relay information in the same way.

Journey Through Sattara is a work of fiction, but it is more real than you think. There isn’t a page written in that book that I didn’t bare all of myself. The good, that bad, and the ugly.

The story is not just about me. The story is about life. It’s about overcoming obstacles, breaking through barriers, and standing up for what you believe in. It’s a tumultuous journey that shapes the characters of two unforgettable individuals.

I guess I would say that you should read the book – simply because I had the courage to write it.

A lot of ideas never even get off the ground. A lot of people doubt themselves before they even try. All I can say about me is that I did have doubt and fear, but regardless of all of that I still put pen to paper and bled.

I believe in my writing. I don’t have any fancy degrees or big name publishers, but I do have a voice and I do have many stories to tell. The only thing that I can promise you is that when you read my novel you will feel the rawness and genuine-ness from which it was written.

Thank you for reading!

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Writing Prompt Wednesday

WPWEDNESDAY

Hello Writers,

The three writing prompts for the day (October 29th) are listed below. Choose one of the prompts and post your poem or short story in the “leave a comment” section.

Writing prompts are a great way to practice your writing, share your creations, and to see how other writers think. Remember to add emotions, describe the scenes, use your senses (smell, sight, taste, touch, & hearing), be descriptive, and don’t hold back. 

1. Write a poem about homelessness using mostly similes and metaphors. 

2. Write a short story about a dream you’ve had recently. 

3. Write a poem that has a color at the end of every line.

I Chose Writing Prompt # 1

The concrete is my bed
Cardboards are my sheets
A smile is my hope
A hot meal is my reach
The strangers that walk by
See me as a leech
They have no idea 
That my heart lost its peace
Degrading like castration
My future’s as bleak
As a bird without wings
It’s unsettling to me
My heart’s as cold as ice
Towards the hand that I’ve been dealt
No money, no life
No warmth to be felt
A hard knock life it is indeed 
I can’t wait for the day
That this darkness sets me free
:::Written By Renee Brooks:::

Thank you for checking out Writing Prompt Wednesdays. Click here to share your entry. If you prefer to share your short story or poem on your own blog, just add the words “Writing Prompt Wednesday” to your post and link back to this post.

Ready, Set, Go!

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The Top 5 Reasons I Love To Write

write

Reason #1: To Express My Thoughts & Emotions

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. – Lord Byron

It’s so true, isn’t it? There are so many other ways to express yourself, but for me writing seems to be the way that is most natural. I could have easily just picked another craft to indulge in, but there is something about writing that just delights my soul. With so many emotions and thoughts flowing through us there has to be some kind of outlet.

For as long as I can remember I carried a notebook around with me. Whether it was venting to my best friend about my annoying teachers back in high school, writing letters to those who hurt me deeply, or just writing down 100 reasons why I loved someone near and dear, writing has been a way to make sense of all the emotions and thoughts that flow through me.

Reason #2: Freedom

If I wanted to write a story about pink fairies, in purple dresses, dancing around a small pond filled with sugar – I could!

I love that writing has no restrictions. I can be as sinister or as ethereal as I want to be. When I put pen to paper there is no telling what my crazy mind may conjure up. I can go as far as I want to go, dig into any topic that delights me, travel to the darkest corners of my mind, and excavate treasures that are beyond my wildest dreams.

There is freedom in writing and freedom is what our soul cries out for.

Reason # 3: I Am Judge, Jury, & Executioner

And I don’t have to feel bad about it either. I love the fact that I am the one who sets all the rules in my writings. I am the God of the story! I give all of my characters their motives, intentions, desires, and their path. I get to say who stays and who goes. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

As writers, we get to create and govern the worlds that we dream up. We are the police officers, the priests, the wanderers, the lost souls, the animals, the rioters, the angels, and the demons of our stories.

Reason # 4: I Get To Experience Different Parts Of Myself

Ohhhhh how I loved experiencing myself as a black panther named “Jungle Cat” in my novel Journey Through Sattara. The power and influence of that animal in my story helped me see the power and influence that I have within me. (*Spoiler Alert*) The fact that I could dream up an animal that plays such a huge part in the survival of Ne’Ya and Su”Ma (the two main characters of the novel), is amazing to me. The characters that we give life to in our stories are the parts of ourselves that want to be expressed. Who knew that I was that powerful, that fearless, and that instinctual? If you haven’t read Journey Through Sattara yet, it’s about time that you get a copy.

Reason #5: For The Fantasies

“Why can’t you just say it? Are you attracted to me Mr Jones?”

He didn’t answer. He just dropped his head again.

“I think I am going to head home now,” he said as he put the glass to his lips to finish off his drink.

“Why?” I asked curiously.

“Because if I stay here, I am going to be very disrespectful to you.”

– Excerpt From My Novel Hooked On The Jones

It doesn’t matter if we say it or not – we live in our minds. We are always daydreaming about things that society would deem inappropriate. Writing helps us act out those fantasies without causing too much trouble. The character Leslie that I dreamt up in my Hooked On The Jones book is smart, sexy, and well put-together. Those are all qualities that are acceptable in today’s society. (*Spoiler Alert*) But add a Manhattan apartment, a powerful business man, and a few drinks and suddenly you have a scene that if lived out in real life, would have your momma smack you across the face.

We have all dreamed about crossing boundaries and doing things way outside of our character. Writing allows you the freedom to do it, but without ruining your marriage or life afterwards.

In Closing

Writing is a way of life. It’s how we express ourselves and communicate how we feel. We create worlds with our words and words have power. I have always believed that. You can write a few sentences and crush someone’s spirit to the point of no return or you can write a story that inspires a nation, that heals, and that unites. My book Mother Father God is a perfect example of that.

Writing is in me. I may not form my sentences in ways that everyone deems appropriate, but there are stories to be told, and energy that would like to be expressed. I write because I believe I was chosen to write. I believe there is Great Spirit that has something to say and it comes to me (in the form of inspiration), because I am the perfect person to say it.

I don’t know why, but apparently it sees something in me. It sees something in the experiences that I’ve gathered throughout life. It sees something in the way that I put words together. It feels something in my heart that is a match to its spirit. What could be more exciting than an unseen force wanting to speak, and choosing you to script the story that it wants to tell?

How about you? Why do you love to write?

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The Arrogance Of A Ja’Ka Man

Journey Through Sattara

Excerpt From Journey Through Sattara

Chapter 1: Toying With Fire

When Su’Ma first laid eyes on Ne’Ya at the edge of where their territory met, he was mesmerized. He had never witnessed a creature so beautiful, so poised, and so unafraid to be out in the jungle all alone. Ne’Ya pretended not to see Su’Ma. She kept along her side of the territory line and Su’Ma step by step followed her along his. He tried to go back to his normal sport of hunting, but he could not take his eyes off of the beautiful creature. His curiosity got the best of him and he found himself calling out to the forbidden fruit on the opposite side of the jungle.

“Hey,” Su’Ma called out.

Ne’Ya, just as she was taught, continued down the path ignoring Su’Ma.

“Hey you,” Su’Ma called out again in a caveman-like voice.

His persistence grabbed her attention. She stopped and moved her eyes to his rich brown skin tone that matched hers perfectly. His stance was somewhat wild and animalistic. She then moved her eyes to his naturally locked hair that laid against his shoulders. The dotted arch marking across his forehead and the three slashes across his right cheek revealed his place within the Ja’Ka tribe. Royalty and a third-level hunter, she thought to herself.

It took her less than a minute to sum up the rest of the markings on his face. She discovered that day what most of the wounded land animals that ran to her side of the territory line were running from. Even though Su’Ma showed all the signs of a thorough natural hunter at age 15, even he was unpolished at times. Falling for the trickery of the animals that played dead and escaped as soon as he would blink. They would run right into the arms of Ne’Ya and she usually nursed them back to health and sent them on their way.

She had been warned to stay away from the men of the Ja’Ka tribe, especially those who carried the third-level hunter mark. She however, did not sense the trouble that her tribe had warned her about in the past. She couldn’t see the harm in speaking to a boy that held the same number of years as she did. She could sense that he wasn’t out to hurt her and answered his call.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“Why are you out here alone?” he replied.

“Why are you out here alone?” she answered back.

“I am a male. You’re a female. Females cannot protect themselves out in the jungle alone. You cannot defend yourself against an enemy,” he arrogantly replied.

Read First 4 Chapters Of The Book
Order The Book Via Amazon